People are buying more secondhand clothing than ever before and the trend is only going to increase. The latest research projects that over the next 10-years the second-hand clothing industry will more than triple in value. It is expected to grow from $28 billion in 2019 to $80 billion by 2029.
This trend is welcomed news to those concerned with the impacts of a growing clothing and textile industry. The fashion industry has a large carbon footprint and accounts for 10% of global human-emitted greenhouse gasses. This is due to long and often spread out supply lines in addition to the emissions from the production of garments. 20% of industrial water pollution comes from the treatment and dying of clothing as well.
The environmental impacts of the fashion industry are in addition to the numerous human rights concerns regarding the treatment of textile workers in factories across the globe.
Both the human rights abuses and environmental impacts decrease the more people purchase their clothing secondhand in lieu of buying new garments, however.
News that more people are purchasing second-hand clothing comes on the heels of another recent fashion trend, often referred to as “Fast Fashion.” This trend is characterized by cheap clothing that is discarded after a smaller number of uses. It gained steam in the early 2000s by companies such as H&M and Zara. It is still a growing industry as well but not at the same rate the second-hand clothing industry is. Fast Fashion is expected to grow by 20% over the next 10 years, in comparison to second-hand fashion which is expected to grow by 185%.
Source: The Economist /Youtube
UK charity Oxfam encourages people to purchase their clothing secondhand. Every September the charity asks people to take a pledge to only shop second hand for 30 days or more. The charity states that the clothes they save from landfills every year weigh as much as the Eiffel Tower.
Sign this petition to demand that the U.S. pass a law banning all clothing companies from burning unsold merchandise.
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